Opinions about Concerta, please.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hanging-On, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Hey everyone. difficult child's little brother was referred to the psychiatric due to his hyperactivity. So about 2 weeks ago we tried Stattera. First week I noticed that he seemed calmer. He wasn't running from couch to couch to stuffed chair literally diving head first, and then doing it over again. The second week though we all (counselors, me, teachers) saw that he was starting to get violent. After he attacked me in the car, I called the Dr and said I'm stopping Statera. Well he now wants to try Concerta. Any opinions?
  2. KateM

    KateM Member

    My son has been on Concerta for about 5 years. It is a great medication for him -helps him with focus and being less impulsive.There have been no down sides to this medication for my son. It lasts about 10 hours for him. Good luck!!
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Concerta has been terrific for our family. on the other hand, every child &
    family differs. Some people here swear by other stimulant medications
    that for my family caused major issues...the reverse can be true.
    That is the hardest part in my humble opinion. The trial and error method is
    really the only way to find the right stimulant medication. Good luck.
  4. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    Hi. My son was on Strattera and had some strange things going on so we took him off of it. He is now on Concerta and had his dosage upped a little. He's been on it since the end of July and has been doing really well. We still have our bad times, but his focus in school seems to have really improved and he can slow down a bit and think before doing things to get into trouble.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Concerta is a stimulant, NOT an SSrwhatever like strattera. A totally different kind of medication.

    It is time released ritalin, and cannot be chewed or crushed. It has the risks inherent in stims, but not the risks from medications like strattera.

    My son had wonderful luck on it for many years. After a number of years other things got really out of control, so we changed ALL the medications, and now he is on other things.

    We had very good luck with it, but I know not everyone has.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    With Mood Disorder in the diagnosis., I personally would not give my child stimulants. Although Straterra is often very bad for mood disordered children, so are stims. They can react the same way. What looks like ADHD can be childhood mania instead and it is NOT helped by ADHD medication.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Can your 4-year-old swallow capsules? If not, Concerta is not an option because opening it up or crushing it destroys its team-release mechanism.

    We had good luck with Concerta for about 1.5 years beginning when my son was almost 10. But then he began to become moody and depressed on Concerta so we took him off. He's now on Focalin XR for help with inattention at school.

    Are you sure you are dealing with "just" ADHD? Most kids with ADHD don't end up in special-ed preschool.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Everyone is different, and everyone (child) reacts differently to medications. As long as he can swallow the pills, then if you want to then try it. It is not fun to play spin the wheel of medications.
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My son had been on Lamictal for 3 years - Mood disorder / bipolar not otherwise specified. About a month ago we started taking him off Lamictal and we added Concerta. HE noticed the difference. The first few days he had trouble falling asleep. Then it was fine.
    He seems very wiped out after school. Almost like he is exhausted. Teachers have commented that he has been working hard, making good choices and staying on task. He did have a difficult day the other day, but he made good choices and worked his way through it. He has better days.
    I don't know if he seems so exhausted after school because Concerta is wearing down, or if he just worked so hard in school, or if it is because he no longer takes Lamicatal and it is some depression showing.
    I know it isn't good to do more than one drug switch at a time, but he didn't want Lamictal any more.
    Good luck.
  10. ShakinThingzUp

    ShakinThingzUp New Member

    I agree with MidWest Mom....... if there is any mood disorder, anxiety, etc. I wouldn't do too much trying of stimulant medications.

    My son has anxiety/depression and EVERY medication we tried had extreme side effects for him. They did help his ADHD - quite a bit, however, within 7-14 days the side effects began and he would spiral out of control emotionally...

    Be careful.
  11. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Widwest Mom, and Shakingthingzup; easy child doesn't have the mood disorder (difficult child does). Sorry for the confusion.

    Yes, he can take pills and capsules. So I think that's not going to be a problem.
  12. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Good thought. What are your thoughts on that? What comes to mind that I should question and look into?

    easy child is in Special Education Pre-K 4. He tested for the need in services in SPL, Occupational Therapist (OT), and SW. Both difficult child and easy child have the language delays part in the SPL, both are Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (but difficult child is Severe, and easy child is not. come to think of it they haven't told me what level he is mild or medium). Both have the need for SW. So when easy child tested positive for early intervention, through Child Find, in all the areas that difficult child has I was/am concerned that easy child may have the same disabilities as difficult child but on the milder scale. I'm still trying to learn all the disabilities that difficult child has. Last night his homebound therapist was discussing difficult child's severe deficit and dysfunction in his frontal lobe, so that's why he has severe disabilities in executive functioning. (I have told all the therapist that they need to get with the nuero-psychiatric (in their weekly meetings regarding difficult child's homebound therapy, office BM therapies, etc) and find EXACTLY what his disabilities are, what brain damage he has and where, and to TEACH me EXACTLY what his issues are and how they effect the things in his life and why explain why (tie it together) why we are doing this goal and why he can't do some goal, etc. Because so far it's not working/helping me to just say "he needs to do this and that" if I don't understand WHY and what is that suppose to do.

    So, my thought TODAY (with the info I have TODAY), is that easy child has some of the areas that difficult child has but not so bad. That he may be delayed, but hopefully with early intervention he will conquer those delays and not need the therapies to the massive extent that difficult child does. THAT'S MY HOPE AND PRAYER!!

    I did question, and told, the psychiatrist that if we were only dealing with easy child literaly bouncing off the walls and be impulsive and he's a pre-schooler (which can be normal for this age) then why give easy child medications. They were saying that his hyperactivity and impulsivity was at an extreme level so they wanted to look at that, but also that easy child's issues were then impacting difficult child's issues and making difficult child worse. So if we took the edge off easy child it would not only help him, but also difficult child.....something like that. I see the point they're trying to make, but I don't like the thing about drugging easy child so difficult child has an easier time. Know what I mean? But I'm not sure if I truly understand if that is really the point they were making.

    Because I was anti-medication (and am to a point, now), I just don't know if it's the right thing for easy child.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have to give an opinion here. I will truly NOT be offended if you ignore it, and I do NOT want to insult anyone else's choices. But I might with this, so ignore me if you feel I am off base for your family.

    I spent a whole lot of time and effort and money to get help for my difficult child. I did not begrudge any of it. I DID begrudge the attitude that my other children were not as important as difficult child was. The impact of different things on my other children was almost NEVER a factor. At one point a therapist wanted me to PAY difficult child to be nice, pleasant, civil, or basically anything that did not cause physical harm. The goal was to make difficult child want to be nice to Jess. But what did it say to Jess?? That she was so worthless I had to PAY her BRO to not hurt her????

    When I put it that way he (and his supervisor - to whom I ocmplained verbally andin writing) saw the problem.

    It seems to me that when interventions come up many professionals think that we should do every little thing to make the rest of the family not upset difficult child. Not trigger him, whatever. ALL resources should be directed at difficult child in the eyes of many service providers.

    I HATE THIS. I think that EACH kid is just as valuable. And I think that there is nothing wrong with doing what we need to maximize the amount of positive family time, but NOT at the expense of any one child.

    Sometimes it has to be all about person A. And other times about person B. But we, as parents, have to make sure our other children don't get lost in the shuffle. (I know most of us do, but it is so hard esp when the "experts" don't take this into the planning.).

    I do not know on the concerta. I think I would have to evaluate giving him a powerful medication based on HIS behavior and needs at school. I think that any professional who recommended medications for one child because then he would trigger my other child less would have to be carefully evaluated as to his ocntinuing service to my family. I would have to think about what to do - keep him for difficult child and get another doctor for easy child? keep him for both, get new for both, run screaming into the night after dropping the kids off at his house? (JK on the last one!)

    Off my soap box now. I just saw so much of htis in the "pros" we consulted, and it scared me.

  14. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Ok, well ~ I'm gonna put my .02 in here. Keep in mind, I was PTSD galore after everything with Dylan, and then I had my youngest acting a little, well, hyper and impulsive.

    First off, ADHD only children do go to Special Education Preschool/Early Intervention because my youngest, Jared, did. And he is only ADHD. He will always only be ADHD.

    I also think, at only not even 5 years old, personally, I wouldn't get too excited yet. easy child could have many things that can be handled with early intervention, therapy, etc, without the medications, that can be "fixed". I also think that there are other ways to teach hyper kiddos how to settle down, and not every kid needs medications.

    He's not even in kindergarten yet. I remember when I thought Dylan was ADHD, they wouldn't even THINK about a script until he made it into kindergarten. Now, they're giving drugs to 4 year olds?

    Ok, I'm sorry, but that worries me.

    I think what you're doing is fine. You tried Strattera, which is NOT like Concerta, and it didn't work. You're gonna try Concerta.

    IF the Concerta doesn't work, what to do? I would not, seriously, would NOT assume that means that your child is Bipolar, Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), Autistic or anything else. I would just keep on with the early interventions you have, and try to find something else to teach focus/attention for now. Maybe play therapy. Maybe a sport. I put my kids in karate, there are TONS of little toddlers in there, that are doing awesome. It's a thought.

    I say this to you, Hangin, in hindsight of everything I have been through with Dylan. I know you've been around a while, but really, I cannot put here all of the "stuff" I have gone through with him, for no real good reason. I started this journey with him when he was 3, 3 years old, and now he just turned 11. And now, 8 years later, all those drug trials and evaluations and everything else for what? Cuz you know, how he was at 3, he is not now. How he was at 5, how he was at 6, heck, how he was at 8, he is not now.

    And now, at 11, he is on no medications. None. What kind of effect did all those medications I pumped into him have on him? Seriously. I have no idea. Because once you start on the hunt for the miracle medication, it doesn't end. I tried Tenex. Didn't work. Tried Clonodine. Didn't work. Went down the line of stims, hoping for one to work. "Well", says psychiatrist, "if the stims didn't work, let's try an antipsychotic". Seroquel - nothing. Abilify, nothing. Risperdal - encopresis. Hallucinations. Nothing. On and on, Tegretol. Topomax. Depakote. Trying the things that didn't work before, again. Lithium. Wellbutrin. On and on. Ridiculous. Geodon. Zyprexa.

    The Lithium/Abilify mix was, in all honesty, wonderful for 16 months. Why? I have no answer for that. It made him fat as heck. It causes him to pee the bed day after day after day. It messed up his thyroid. Was it worth it? 16 months of peace. Yeah. Now? Nope.

    I'm rambling because I have the computer to myself for a minute. Sorry if it's not getting pieced together. I think you know what I'm saying though.

    Your child is 4. He is SUPPOSED to be hyper. He is SUPPOSED to be impulsive. He is FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a difference between hyper and impulsive and not being able to stay on task and focus. Can he play a board game with you? Chutes and Ladders? Try it. If he can sit through that, one on one with mommy, what does that tell you?

    Somewhere along the way, adults forgot that little kids, especially boys, are supposed to be hyper, impulsive and loud. This isn't the June Cleaver days. Kids aren't Beaver.

    With regards to my youngest, I waited until he was in the middle of 3rd grade to put him on Concerta. Hated it. It wasn't so much he was hyper, it was because he couldn't pay attention in school. He'd do everything but. And that tiny little 18 mg. took care of it. I actually took him off for a month, here in October, and he's doing okay. Not great, not bad. He probably does still need the medication. He asked about it, said he could pay attention better. When he asks me, that to me says, ok, yeah, he needs it.

    One other thing I'm gonna say here. If ANY psychiatrist, ever, ever, ever even THOUGHT I should drug one kid to help another, I would run, run, run for the damn hills. You have GOT TO BE KIDDING that he said that? That is totally friggin' unreal. Unreal. No way would I ever see him again. Never.

  15. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member


    Thank you, and (for me) you don't need to appologize. YOU stated what struck me wrong about my conversation with the psychiatric. Up to that point, it was about easy child. But then when I said no to the Strattera AND that I was thinking of not using any medications on easy child (because if it's just stopping him from bouncing off the walls but he's not raging, but he still does tantrums (active pouting, and sit-in's) then I didn't see the point) that's when all this other stuff came out. In my gut, it just sits really wrong.

    I mean think about it. Most of us, if not all, have had to sacrifice so much about EVERYTHING for our difficult child's. AND we all know that our easy child's and other family members are being effected in a huge unfair way. easy child's receive less attention, they receive more abuse due to difficult child, there's less money to spend on the family let alone a easy child, activities are altered or completely omitted due to difficult child, the stress level in the house and in daily life is greater then in a normal house so easy child has to live with that, there's therapy stuff that comes to the house that normally wouldn't, and EVERY goal and EVERY therapy is presented as a "family" strengthening event not just something for difficult child, and easy child's HAVE to learn to deal with difficult child or they wont make it. It's not fair, and then to give as another excuse to medicate a easy child because it will not only calm him down but it will lessen triggers for difficult child......:censored2: Man!!!! This is just too surreal, because now I'm they're blurring the border of what is best for easy child, and what we have to DO TO easy child to better difficult child. G-D almighty no wonder I'm confused over this stuff with easy child and I'm resistant.

    Thanks for listening to my vent.
  16. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Hey Janna, and thanks. You must have been posting when I was...lol.

    You have excellent points, and I'm truly now rethinking the medications for easy child. Like I said above...this is too surreal. No wonder I'm confused about what best for easy child.
  17. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Here are my thoughts: There has been a lot in the news this week about two clinical reports put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help pediatricians identify Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) earlier and guide families to effective interventions.

    Has your easy child had a definitive rule in or out on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? With developmental delays, speech delays, ADHD-like behaviors and a brother with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, easy child has a lot of red flags. I'd recommend a rule in/out on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) so you can make the best decision possible on medications for easy child. Some kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) take Concerta or other stimulants to help them attend to school (stimulants wake up those frontal lobes). Others don't, but instead rely on the other interventions (some of which you are already accessing) that all kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) require. Having the diagnosis, if easy child indeed has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), will open up doors for all the interventions he will need. And as the AAP advises, the earlier the interventions, the better the prognosis.

    by the way, we didn't turn to stimulants until my son was nearly 10. But he has inattentive ADHD, not hyperactive. I honestly don't know what we would have done had he been off-the-charts hyperactive.
  18. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Thank you. I did not hear about the reports.
  19. Pandora

    Pandora Member


    I have had my son on it since March...it has been a great help in enabling him to do his schoolwork and focus better. Only preoblem I've found is it does at times cause difficulty with getting him to go to sleep. But he had problems with this before taking it so it's hard t totally blame the drug.
  20. Indianamomof4

    Indianamomof4 New Member

    My difficult child was on all of them (the ADHD stims) and concerta made him react the worst, violently. He was on straterra the longest and that too made him aggressive, but not as much as adderral and concerta did. It is true, it just dpends on your child. Our issue was that difficult child really doesn't have ADHD, it's Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (and who knows what else).